A Portuguese gold coin found in a farmer’s field in Wiltshire, UK, is estimated to fetch between €20,000-€30,000 at auction.
Found by metal detectorist, civil servant Mick Edwards while on holiday to celebrate his 35th wedding anniversary, the 10 Cruzados piece from the reign of Manuel I (1495-1521) will go under the hammer (Lot 2196) at London auction house Noonan of Mayfair on Thursday, September 29.
Since the pandemic, good quality and rare hammered coins have enjoyed extraordinary prices at auction as an attractive long-term asset class, but rarity, eye-candy quality and condition are king.
But how did the coin, which is in a remarkable Very Fine (VF) condition, end up in Wiltshire? Actually, not surprising given that the almost pure gold 10 Cruzado piece was one of a handful of gold currencies that were widely accepted on the international trading markets given Portugal’s status as one of the wealthiest kingdoms in the known world.
The 36mm coin has the Portuguese Order of Christ Cross on the front (obverse), while the flip-side (reverse) boasts the crowned royal arms of Portugal.
Mick found the coin after an early morning metal detecting session in 10 inches of dirt. The team at Noonans informed him it was struck in Lisbon using gold brought back by Vasco de Gama during his voyages to Africa and India.